The nights are getting darker, school playgrounds are buzzing with chatter about the best costume ideas, and the shops are filling up with pumpkins. That can only mean one thing – Halloween is coming!
One thing which has become increasingly noticeable in recent years is the amount of Halloween-themed stuff available in shops. Costumes, decorations, sweeties, toys; all packaged up in lots of plastic. It is truly frightening how many tonnes of unnecessary waste is created as a result.
But if you remember to reduce, reuse and recycle, Halloween doesn’t have to be monstrous for the environment! Here are our top tips for a green Halloween.
- Get creative with your costumes. Rather than buying a new outfit, take a wander round the charity shops to see if anything inspires you, or adapt something you already have at home. Or you could swap dress-up clothes with friends and family, and give old costumes a second life.
- Going trick or treating? Make sure your little ghosties and ghoulies carry reusable bags or containers to put their sweeties in. Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make brilliant eco-friendly alternatives to paper and plastic bags. And everyone knows you can fit loads more sweeties in a pillow case than in a supermarket carrier bag!
- Raid your recycling pile for Halloween decorations. Last year we made spiders from milk bottle tops, bats from toilet roll tubes and even a skeleton from some plastic milk bottles. Have a look at our Facebook photo album for inspiration. Or if you want something more dramatic, bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts!
- Halloween is a great excuse to throw a party, be it for the children or grown-ups. If you’re hosting a Halloween party, invite your friends by text or email rather than giving out paper invitations. When catering, avoid disposable plates, cutlery and napkins and use washable ones. And remember, glass bottles and drinks cans can be recycled in your black box, mixed recycling bin or at recycling points.
- When making pumpkin lanterns, don’t throw away the pumpkin flesh, turn it into something tasty! Love Food Hate Waste has lots of recipe ideas, how about pumpkin soup or pumpkin lasagne? Even the pumpkin seeds can be turned into a tasty snack.
- And last but not least, when the party’s over and the candles have burnt out, remember to recycle your pumpkin lanterns! You can put the pumpkins in your brown wheelie bin, on-street food recycling bin, or your home compost bin if you have one.
Follow our straightforward tips and you’ll see that wasting less at Halloween is not witchcraft!
Have you got any more ideas for reuse and recycling at Halloween? We’d love to hear them!